Type of Submission: Picspam
Prompt: Tell the Tale, with Merlin, with Arthur, with Morgana
Warnings: This has a lot of pictures! Also, it is a picmeta. A cross between a picspam and a meta.
Author's Notes: Written for thefuturequeen's Gwen Battle 2010, for the above prompts. Screencaps from here. Many thanks to my flist for their input and also a big thank you to sgmajorshipper, who tried her best to teach me how to use Photoshop, but I fell at the last hurdle (thus picnik has to suffice.) ♥
This post is going to be an introspective look at exactly who Gwen is, theories regarding her, reasons to love her and an in-depth analysis of her relationship between the characters Merlin, Morgana and Arthur. This will be posted in two or three installments. The ones today are of Gwen in general and a look at her relationship with Merlin in both series and with Arthur during series one. The A/G picmeta for series two and with Morgana are to follow. <3
Who is Guinevere?
Guinevere- or Gwen, as she much prefers to be called, is the daughter of a blacksmith and the handmaiden of Morgana. She’s also Merlin’s best friend of sorts, Arthur and Lancelot’s love interest and she also happens to be the Future Queen of Camelot.
Gwen is probably the most underappreciated (and often hated) main character on Merlin, but for many she is an integral character, for various reasons listed below.
She is the Ultimate Hugging Machine
She may only be a servant, but Gwen knows how to hug and she does so a lot.
Several reasons possibly being: Gwen’s hugs save lives!
Merlin has never hugged Gwen before, but he doesn’t need to because he’s immortal.
Gwen’s hugs make people’s hair longer and glossier (yes, even yours, Gaius!)
Gwen’s hugs restore lost faith!
Gwen’s hugs zap up evil energy and turn them into rainbows!
These are all true facts.
Without Gwen on the show, there would be no one to hug these characters and they’d all be lost and directionless and not knowing how to hug. And in the end, wouldn’t that just suck?
The Glue Theory
Gwen is the Ron Weasley of the Merlin fandom. That is, she is the most disliked by viewers out of the main characters, but without her there, the other three would have fallen apart.
Without Gwen, Merlin would have been declared a pervert by Morgana and would be rotting away in the dungeons from the get- go instead of doing his sorcery thing.
Should he have survived that debacle, he would have had no Gwen to show him how to put on armoury, and Arthur would have sacked him sooner. Thus, Merlin would not have been around to save Arthur and Arthur would have died by snakes hiding in a shield.
Without Gwen, Morgana would be dead because no one was as determined as she to prove that Edwin was An Evil Person Doing Something Weird to Morgana. Also, Morgana wouldn’t have had a tender side, for she would have grown up with only the company of Arthur...
...and most probably would have killed him out of irritation.
Morgana would also be quite isolated and desolate because of her dreams and with no one like Gwen to comfort her, quite possibly could have fallen into despair.
Without Gwen, Arthur’s efforts to get the mortaeus flower would have been in vain and Merlin would be dead...
...much to Arthur’s eternal distress.
Also, without Gwen’s words of morale, Arthur would probably have drowned himself in nearest lake and Ealdor would be no more.
And let’s not forget Lancelot. Without Gwen, Lancelot would have turned up to the Knight Auditions dressed in armour made out of paper by Merlin and would have been laughed out of Camelot.
...basically, without Gwen, everybody would be dead.
Gwen also very much sticks the characters together. She is initially the link between Morgana and Merlin, and to a certain extent, the connecting point for Arthur and Morgana: their mutual concern for her unites the two together when they’d grown apart. Perhaps in the future, Gwen will also play an important link between Arthur and Merlin. Should Arthur ever find out that Merlin is magic and he becomes enraged about it, I hope Gwen is the buffer to unite the two back together.
Thus, I believe that Gwen is an important force between these characters. She brings out a side to each that is never shown to anyone else.
She weaves each of them together and they’re all intertwined. Should any of them fall, she’s there to pick them off the ground, put them back together and show them the way.
That Guinevere, she is like glue.
An In-Depth Analysis with Each of the Characters:
Gwen is the first friend Merlin makes in Camelot. Having tasted what the kingdom has to offer (i.e. Arthur) and not being impressed by it, Gwen’s presence is the much needed welcome he needs.
She saves him from what would have been an incredibly awkward situation with Morgana, when Merlin inadvertently walks into the lady’s chambers, and she’s there for Merlin when he needs someone to show him how to put on armour.
Initially, Gwen is quite besotted with Merlin. She sees him as a saviour-type figure who isn’t afraid to stand up to the boorish Arthur. He contains a freshness as well as a uniqueness that draws her in. He’s not the rough, tough, save-the-world type like Arthur, but he’s different and she appreciates that.
Before Merlin, we assume that Gwen has never had a crush on anybody, so Gwen’s adoration for Merlin can be perceived as the archetypal puppy love. She thinks him admireable and is a fan of his dorkiness...
...which she’s quite susceptible to herself.
Gwen: Well, I’m glad you walked away, you weren’t going to beat him.
Merlin: Oh, I can beat him!
Gwen:*sceptical* You think?! Because you don’t look like one of these big muscly types kind of fellows.
Gwen: *mortified*No! I’m sure you’re stronger than you look. It’s just Arthur’s one of these real rough, tough save-the-world kind of men, and well...
Gwen: You don’t look like that.
Merlin: *chirpy, despite his ego taking a bashing* beckons: I’m in disguise.
Gwen: I didn’t mean you. Obviously. Not you. But just, you know, I like much more ordinary men. Like you.
Gwen: Purple suits you. Not that I’m saying red doesn’t suit you....
Merlin: *beams* Thanks!
Gwen: You're strange!... Uh, I don't mean that in a nasty way. You're funny.
Unfortunately for her, Merlin doesn’t see her like that, and although there isn’t much of a transition between Gwen’s feelings for him, you get the impression that her crush on him eventually transcends into a strong friendship.
There are many instances of their bond:
"You have to show everyone that you were right and they were wrong."
"Please, one thing-you don't have to- but..."
"You're not going to die. I am not going to let this happen."
"Ask, Merlin and you know I’d grant you anything."
"If it was the other way round, you’d help us. You already have. You saved my life."
"Morgana's been amazing these last few days."
"I think you've been amazing. After all that's happened....getting your life back together..."
You have a good heart, Gwen. Don't ever lose that.
Come series 2, Merlin and Gwen’s friendship takes a backseat, but there are some resonating moments.
For example, Merlin’s trust in Gwen that she will take good care of Arthur.
"I can’t believe you talked me into this!"
Don’t worry, Gwen! You only have to put up with Arthur’s snoring, smelly feet and bad manners for a few more days!
Yeah, actually, maybe it’s not the most tempting of prospects...
In 2x03, they are the ones most concerned about Morgana’s welfare.
And in 2x04, Merlin is the one most attuned to Gwen’s feelings for both Lancelot and Arthur, and does his best to console her when she is upset by both the situation and Lancelot’s departure.
When Gaius is wrongly accused of witchcraft (here’s looking at you, Merlin!), it’s Gwen and Merlin who team together to clear him.
Thus, Gwen and Merlin have quite an extensive interaction on the show. From crushes to great friends, they handle each stage with flair and grace and the evolution of their friendship has been a splendid one to watch unfold.
I was always in the mindset that Gwen’s feelings for Merlin was always one sided (I mean, could Merlin have more vehemently denied being in love with Gwen when Arthur called him up on it?) and Merlin was always in love with Morgana. But re-watching the earlier scenes of these two have shown how flirty Merlin can be with Gwen and has affirmed for me how delightful these two are together- as potential lovers and as friends.
I never used to be a Merlin/Gwen shipper before this picspam, but no lie, I find them quite compelling now!
Part Two:Arthur/Gwen Series One